Bill Gray (Modern Languages, 1971)
More than most writers, Robert Louis Stevenson requires a Literary Life. As Henry James commented on reading Balfour’s 1901 biography: ‘Louis ... has superseded, personally, his books, and this last replacement of himself ... has killed the literary baggage.’ Serious critical attention to Stevenson’s literary works has been relatively slow to appear, though the ‘Life of Stevenson’ continues to flourish, having become a minor literary genre in its own right. The version of Stevenson’s literary life presented here embraces Stevenson’s own reservations about the role of linear chronology in biography, and is more of a literary geography than a literary history. Its structure is defined by the various geographical and cultural contexts (England, France, Scotland, America and the South Seas) in which Stevenson lived and worked. This is the first literary biography of Stevenson since the publication of his Collected Letters; it has also made use of hitherto unpublished letters. To find out more about this book click here.
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